Scottish Industrial Energy Transformation Fund: guidance - competition three

Guidance notes and application forms for the third call of the Scottish Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (SIETF).

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Types of applicant

Types of project partners

The lead applicant must be a Scottish manufacturing site (where the study or project will take place) but Scottish manufacturing sites can partner with organisations across the UK to make an application. Where the lead applicant is collaborating with other project partners in a consortium, the lead applicant may set out in the application each project partner’s eligible costs. Note that we will only have a legal relationship with, or pay money to, the lead applicant.

The maximum grant value that each partner can claim is detailed below.

Organisations that can act as project partners fall into three categories:

  • businesses
  • research organisations
  • public sector organisations or charities undertaking research activity

The amount of eligible costs attributable to each organisation as a project partner are detailed below.

Business – organisation size

A business is defined as an organisation or enterprise engaged in commercial activity. Businesses are categorised as micro, small, medium, or large, and this categorisation determines the levels of grant funding that can be claimed through both the energy efficiency deployment and studies competitions. Businesses can determine their size based on the thresholds set out in the Companies accounts guidance, summarised in the table below. To fit within a size category, businesses must be within the value thresholds for at least two of the following criteria:

  • average staff headcount
  • annual turnover
  • balance sheet total

Company category

Staff headcount


Balance sheet total


< 250

≤ £36m

≤ £18m


< 50

≤ £10.2m

≤ £5.1m


< 10

≤ £632k

≤ £316k


large business in this context means any enterprise which exceeds the thresholds in the table for at least two of the criteria.

Research organisation

Research organisations which are engaged in economic activity as part of the project will be treated as business enterprises for the purposes of funding. Research organisations include:

  • universities (higher education institutions)
  • non-profit research and technology organisations (RTOs), including catapults
  • public sector organisations (PSO)
  • public sector research establishments (PSRE)
  • research council institutes
  • research organisations
  • charities

This list is not comprehensive and is subject to change and exceptions.

Any research organisations in your project team undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total eligible costs. If your project team contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.

In relation to the contribution of universities to the project, 80% of their full economic costs can be set out in the application. For all other research organisations, 100% of full economic costs can be included in the application.

Research organisations should be non-profit distributing to qualify. They should explain how they will disseminate the output of their project research as outlined in the application.

Public sector organisation or charity

Public sector organisations and charities can work with businesses to achieve innovation through knowledge, skills and resources. These organisations must not take part in any economic activity or gain economic benefit from a project. As part of the application 100% of their costs could be eligible under the following conditions:

  • they are undertaking research (this may be experimental, theoretical or critical investigation work to gain knowledge, skills or understanding vital to the project)
  • they meet requirements for dissemination of their project results and they state in the application how they will do this
  • they include their eligible costs for research purposes in the total research organisation involvement
  • they are not applying for funding towards costs already being paid by the public purse such as labour and overheads

Third sector

Third sector organisations are primarily voluntary and community, such as associations, self-help groups, mutual and cooperatives. Third sector organisations can be non-funding consortium project partners in an application.


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